(ATR) Olympic stakeholders in the United States will gather this week for the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Assembly where leaders of the U.S. Olympic Committee are expected contemplate a bid for the 2026 Winter Games.
The annual meeting of USOC brass takes place from Oct. 12-13 at the home of Team USA in Colorado Springs, Colorado. More than 250 participants will attend from the USOC, U.S. Paralympic Committee, National Governing Bodies, Olympians, Paralympians and the Athletes’ Advisory Council.
The main orders of business at this year’s assembly are preparations for the upcoming PyeongChang 2018 Winter Games in South Korea as well as the opening of discussions for U.S. cities to put forward bids for the Winter 2026 Olympics.
USOC chairman Larry Probst and chief executive Scott Blackmun intimated that a few U.S. cities had already expressed interest to them about hosting the Games during the Team USA Media Summit in Park City, Utah on Sept. 25.
"We haven’t devised any kind of domestic process for considering that, but there have been a number of cities that have expressed interest to us," said Blackmun.
"Not only Salt Lake City, but Denver, [Colorado] and Reno-Tahoe, [Nevada] and others."
The assembly unofficially begins on Oct. 11 with the first meeting of NGB representatives. The committees that make up the USOC will begin their meetings on Oct. 12 while the USOC Board of Directors will hold two meeting sessions on Oct. 13. The BOD meeting is where Winter 2026 talks are expected to take place.
After the BOD press conference, attendees will prepare for the USOC Awards reception and gala dinner at the International Center of the Broadmoor.
The Athletes’ Advisory Council will hold its final meeting on Oct. 14 before all attendees depart from Colorado. Around the Rings will be on the scene for annual meeting of U.S. Olympic and Paralympic leaders.
World Archery Heads to Mexico
World Archery will continue its efforts to grow the sport in the Americas by hosting the 2017 World Archery Championships in Mexico City this week.
The championships begin on Oct. 15 in the Mexican capital despite devastating earthquakes that struck the city in September.
On behalf of the global archery family, World Archery extends its deepest thoughts, sympathies and condolences to the people of Mexico following natural disasters that have resulted in the tragic loss of life and damage to buildings and infrastructure," said World Archery secretary general Tom Dielen.
"World Archery has been in regular contact with the organizers of the upcoming World Archery Congress and Championships, due to be held in Mexico City in mid-October, to assess what effect these earthquakes might have on the event.
"We have been assured that, while the authorities’ immediate priority will be dealing with the aftermath of the earthquakes, the 2017 World Archery Congress and Championships should continue as planned."
The World Championships follow the 2015 Archery World Cup final also held in the capital, the country’s second time hosting the event.
"Athletes were at the centre of the decision to award these events to Mexico City," Dielen said. "Mexico’s archers have been asking for an international tournament in their country for some time, and they are one of the most internationally competitive teams right now."
The week-long tournament will conclude on Oct. 22.
Innsbruck 2026 Bid Faces Referendum
Citizens of Innsbruck must approve an effort to bring the Winter Olympics back to the Austrian city before a bid can officially begin.
The Tirol region in Austria will vote on the Olympic proposal on Oct. 15 following an effort to travel the region and spread their Olympic vision. The so-called "Olympic Roadshow" demonstrated how the bid will utilize only existing venues and will be crafted and planned in a sustainable manner.
"The Innsbruck/Tirol offer means: Our Games, according to our rules," said Tyrol Governor Günther Platter. "No gigantism, no new sports facilities, but a real added value for the whole country. And in light of the prerequisites, we must be clear: we have a unique opportunity here!"
If the referendum is successful, the bid team can move forward with its efforts to bring the Olympics back to Innsbruck for the third time. If Innsbruck is awarded the 2026 Games it would be the first three-time Olympic host following editions in 1964 and 1976. Innsbruck also hosted the 2012 Winter Youth Olympic Games.
WBSC Congress Meets in Botswana
Gaborone, Botswana will welcome the World Baseball Softball Confederation for the 2017 WBSC Congress.
Two delegates from each of the WBSC’s member countries will attend the biannual congress which will be an elective congress. Botswana National Sport Commission Chairman Solly Reikeletseng expects a high attendance as a result.
"This goes a very long way in positioning the country, not only as a tourist or investment resort, but as a sporting destination," said Reikeletseng. "We are proud of the strides we continue to see in this sector and are confident that we will see an increase in similar events in the future."
Besides elections, the congress will likely discuss baseball and softball’s inclusion in the next Summer Olympics in Tokyo in 2020.
The WBSC Congress takes place from Oct. 11-13.
Written by Kevin Nutley
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